Loneliness has reached the levels of an epidemic. From the bullied child to the new parent, from the pensioner who has outlived friends and family members to teenagers who manage their social lives through the glow of a mobile phone, it can - and does - affect anyone and everyone, irrespective of age, race or class. Many suffer in silence, convinced it's a confession too far, a sign of too much vulnerability, a shameful failing. But the human condition is not a failing.
What's it like when loneliness descends? How does it announce itself, and how do you recognise it? Do you discuss it, or conceal it? From where can you seek help?
A Life Less Lonely shares stories of loneliness and social isolation, and looks for ways in which we can help one another to future-proof ourselves against this most insidious affliction. By talking to those who suffer from it, and by highlighting the work of those who fight to combat it, the book offers guidance on how to spot the symptoms in yourself and in others, how to connect with those around you, and how, by understanding it all better, we might just set ourselves free from it.
In this way, what is an epidemic today might not be one tomorrow.
About the Author
Nick Duerden is a writer and freelance journalist. He is the author of two novels and a memoir on fatherhood and has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and 5 and Sky News. He has written widely on the arts, travel and health. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters. He is the author of Get Well Soon.
"How strange that in our inter-connected modern lives one of the greatest threats to happiness is loneliness. Nick Duerden has approached this dreadful and isolating condition head on, and huge comfort is to be found in the pages of his exceptionally perceptive and sympathetic book. The practical advice given is gold dust not only for lonely people, but for those who long to help them."
"An absorbing and inspirational book about our last big taboo. Through personal stories - often very moving ones - we discover how many initiatives are being set up to help combat the corrosive modern epidemic of loneliness and isolation. Nick Duerden's book should be essential reading, not just for professionals in the field, but for all of us."
Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel